Review of ‘The Words We Use are Black and White’

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Lucy sells weekend cinema tickets in Evian, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Along with her brother Jean-Luc, and their childhood friend, Fabrice, they struggle with learning to communicate with each other. Lucy’s life is complicated by the arrival of Alain, who has come to Evian to escape human contact that has bedeviled him in Geneva. Alain and Lucy develop a relationship that complicates both their lives, and the lives of everyone around them.

Simon Holloway’s The Words We Use are Black and White is an epic tale that shows how words fail to convey the meanings in our hearts, as these hapless characters struggle to make themselves heard and understood.

Holloway has written a profound book that addresses the prejudices and misconceptions that we are often unaware of, and except for a bit of confusion caused by the expansive cast of characters and some annoying similarities in naming – Lucy, Lucie, and Lucien, along with Jean-Luc and later Luc – which caused me to have to re-read some sections to get myself oriented, it was thoroughly enjoyable. I give it four stars, only because the name confusion keeps me from giving it five.

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